PHARMACY

Newly developed nanotech sensors may help test efficacy of cancer drugs

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK One day physicians may be able to determine the effectiveness of cancer drugs using tiny sensors.

According to a report published Sunday in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed nanotechnology sensors made of carbon nanotubes that can detect toxins and drugs inside living cells.

The sensors are coated with DNA and made to give off fluorescent light to make them detectable after injection into cells.

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Texas congressman asks reason for six-month delay on FDA confiscation of Celsus’ contaminated heparin

BY Alaric DeArment

WASHINGTON The Food and Drug Administration waited six months to confiscate contaminated supplies of the blood-thinning drug heparin from Cincinnati-based Celsus Labs, and a congressman from Texas wants to know why.

Last month, United States Marshalls seized 11 lots of the drug from Celsus after the company allegedly failed to properly recall it on its own.

Contaminated heparin has been blamed for several hundred adverse reactions and 81 deaths across the country, though no deaths have been linked with Celsus’ heparin. The contamination comes from over-sulfated chondroitin sulfate, which mimics the blood-thinning properties of heparin and was mixed with several lots of the drug using ingredients from China.

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Specialty Pharmacy Summit to take place in March

BY Alaric DeArment

SHORT HILLS, N.J. A large specialty pharmacy network and group-contracting organization will be host of the fifth annual Specialty Pharmacy Summit in March.

Armada Health Care announced Tuesday that the summit would take place at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas from March 10 to March 13. Armada expects almost 1,000 people to attend, and they will represent more than 50 percent of the total annual expenditure on specialty pharmacy in the United States. Last year’s summit included more than 500 specialty pharmacy providers, industry-channel partners and representatives of industry-associated vendors, as well as PBMs and insurers.

Armada said the summit would give specialty pharmacy providers an opportunity to evaluate new products, gain knowledge of industry trends and network with peers, payers and vendors.

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